tv The Chris Matthews Show NBC February 24, 2013 4:30pm-5:00pm PST
earth cannot keep conduct being its business by drifting from one manufactured crisis to the next. chris: so what do you do, howard, to get up in the morning and they're talking -- they're talking sequester and a new name for it every couple of months, it's the same thing. the question is, harris the push said i don't think it's real. they're not going to do it. move on? >> well, that's the danger because this is not a movie and it's not funny. i think what's happening here in the big picture is we're relying on government more than ever. and as a matter of fact, the latest polls show that people like most of the programs that the president and -- is proposing and that the democrats support. but there's also part of the american character that says darn it, i don't want to rely on government. the heck with government. that's who the tea party is. it's a real part of our culture. chris: and they're happy with this shutdown. >> they want the shutdown. chris: $85 billion taken out of the economy. >> this is going to be a real deal. the world will not stop on march 1. but there will be problems with
air travel. there will be problems with meat inspection. research at research university is going to be cut. head start will be cut. it's going to be real. and it's just the beginning. don't forget, there's another thing called a continuing resolution that ends on march 27. that could shut down the government and there's another debt ceiling. so that whole "groundhog day" thing has three more iterations just in the next few months. chris: katty, you're laughing but here we go again. a lot of these cuts will take government spending in some areas discretionary spending down to where it was as a percentage of the economy where it was in the 1950's. these are serious cuts. but look, president doesn't get hurt that much. 49% of the country blame republicans. and 31% blame obama. he gets relatively off on this thing. >> he gets relatively on it at the moment, in comparison with the republicans. barcia the republicans are the ones who have been talking about spending cuts and so they're going to be blamed if the manned tore spending cuts are implemented. if the economy really starts to decline, as howard said, if the markets turn on america which is definitely a possibility and markets are watching america's political body at the moment
thinking my goodness, if they can't get their house in order now, then what are they going to do when they have to do long-term things? chris: that's what i say. >> at that point the president could suffer. chris: i sometimes sympathize with countries like greece in the old days. hell with it, these guys can't get the job done. bring in the colonelless. find somebody else. it's that bad. here's the numbers. 76% of the country do agree with the president now. it should be a combination of tax increases, revenue increases, and tax reform, whatever and spending cuts. the republicans basically say all cuts, no increase in taxes. >> most people understand that they've got to pay their own bills. we know that and they keep analogizing the economy to a family. families, sometimes you have to go out and raise a little extra money. you don't just tighten your belt and get a second job and pay your bills on time. you go out and get some extra money. sometimes god forbid you even borrow some money from your brother-in-law, right? so they're going to lose on on that nor one particular point and they are going to get this point in the next couple of weeks, the fiscal conservatives that the date will come and go and the world is going to continue to spin on its axis. and the sun is going to come up
in the east. and nobody is going to be fired and kids won't be cut out of daycare. not on the first day. not even in the first week. and so they're going to get that point. and then after that, they're going to lose. they're goring to lose big. chris: you cover the hill and you know there's all kinds of republicans now. there's a group of them, a third of the caucus, a quarter of the caucus who really don't like government that much. and if somebody says we're going to cut it, whack it, fine. >> they've been trying to make cuts for a long, long time and they see this as a chance that is coming like a freight train. and the cuts will be made and they will be able to make their point. the hardest point about all these iterations we've talked about is there's a countdown clock and people haven't lived with the real world consequences yet. we've seen the washington monument have the signs, closed for tourists tomorrow. but we never get to tomorrow. so this could have a real impact. it's also a bit like the y2k survivalists and the clocks would start and the a.t.m.aries wouldn't work when the year 2000 hit and that didn't
happen. chris: the people on the right will say if this is the only way we're going to cut government spending is with a sledge hammer bring on the hammer. >> they would prefer to reduce some cuts and maybe give some discretion to the various agencies and departments. one of the things that makes this automatic cut so painful is there isn't any leeway. chris: i think there are people who have had it with government. they're tired of picking up the newspaper, maybe they got a parking ticket and problems with government generally. they just don't like the government and they hear that they're spending $17 trillion debt. they say we better stop this. >> one of the ground parts of this and the president says you have to have revenues and there's more that the wealthiest in america can pay to be part of our communal system. that's essentially the argument. the tea party is trying to say no, and they're willing to shut down the government to make their point. zpwr who wins, katty? had the president win and force them to accept revenue increases to forestall this big cut in government spending or will the tea party say you know what? i'll take the cuts? >> you never would have
believed that we would have got this close to the edge. this time last summer that the tea party was willing to say we will take these cuts. even if we know they're going to hurt the economy. but it looks like they're willing to do that. we may go over the edge and they may come back and do some negotiation. i wonder whether america's problem at the moment of governability and clearly a governability problem in this country is nothing really to do with the american public. which seems as you suggest in the polls to say they want a mixture of both of these things and want some kind of compromise but it's purely a structural problem. you have 50 odd tea party members who are in such safe districts that they don't care whether the president -- chris: i agree. and there are very few districts where you can lose re-election in the general election. the big cities are liberal. the bay area and new york, philly, that are all liberal. you get out in the country, it's -- you can't lose to a democrat. but let me ask you, is it possible this could go further? the congress could simply say we like these cuts, we're going to put them in law and go for a whole year? >> i think it is possible. but i do think when the pain begins, there will be some coming together. and they will shift the cuts. i don't think republicans want
to give up. the lower level of spending. chris: why would sbape accept a decision to a-- obama accept a decision to alleviate -- let the defense department go harmless and the liberal programs go with cuts -- >> everybody knows that there are ways in the defense establishment just like everywhere else. and i think what the president is going to do, and it's going to work inexorably, but it's going to happen quickly, this 44 million people who read a newspaper every day, right? and every local paper out there is going to detail what's going to happen to the administrators at their local social security office and to the plol base and to all of the different things that are going to happen. and it's going to be had a force, even in a -- that force, even in a tea party district, we don't get the new bridge and daycare money -- >> the pentagon has been very good, once they've been unleashed by the administration, for a long time the administration was saying let's not talk about this too much. now they can't talk about it much. and nobody is better at talking about it than the pentagon. because it's the largest organization in the world. they actually have to plan
things. i'm told that in a lot of agencies around town, they don't know what to do. >> the planning is a mess. but the pentagon they're running wars. chris: let me go to the usual probability. the president gives in because he gets scared about national defense. he can't get the aircraft carrier into the persian gulf and we'll do the mix over again and cut some of the social spending. is that likely he'll do that? >> i think after you've gone past the sequester, and once the pain starts to hit, there will be some sort of negotiation. he will give a bit and i think the republicans will have to give a bit, too. you got democrats at the moment targeting half of the tea party members because precisely they think they're vulnerable. on the issue of defense spending, on the issue of cuts that will hurt people in their districts. >> will the president go to entitlement reform which is the one way you get republicans to the table? if you do tax reform they'll give on the corporate jet. if you can do tax reform. or entitlement reform. >> there are two more "groundhog day" iterations of this coming at the end of march and then the summer. it's -- at some point to go to
katty's issue, we have to have a bigger conversation about all this. chris: ok. well, tonight, the conversation is about the oscars. a little relief -- comedy relief perhaps and let's talk oscars. my favorite, for best picture is that terrific romantic comedy, silver lining's playbook. and some say it's a sleeper or an underdog since argo and lincoln are the favorites. and the bipolar guy has lost his wife and just about everything else because of a breakdown. but ends up with a chance to get the girl. and an underdog herself. it's quite a movie. if it wins best picture it would follow in the footsteps of many other winning pictures about underdogs. before the more recent slumdog millionaire and million dollar baby wins, there were some other big underdog movies that won best picture. and some are on my all-time favorites list. one of my favorites is that story of the scrappy fighter from philly, rocky, best picture in 1976.
the improbable hero himself con finding to his girlfriend his misgivings about going the distance against the heavyweight champ. >> i've been out there walking around, thinking. i mean, who am i kidding? i ain't even in the guy's league. chris: that's adrian in bed there. adrian! another underdog winner is "marty." best picture in 1959. earnest boringine still lives at home and overcomes his self-doubt and casts aside his deadbeat friends and calls the girl everyone tells him not to. >> what's the matter with you? >> you don't like her? my mother don't like her. she's a dog and i'm a fat ugly man. well, all i know is i had a good time last night. i'm going to have a good time tonight. if we have enough good times together, i'm going get down on my knees and beg that girl to marry me. chris: and definitely in my top 10, is on the waterfront, best picture in 1954. marlin brando stands up to a
crooked labor boss. after brando is pressure by his own brother to stay quiet, he laments his predicament. in in iconic speech. -- in this iconic speech. >> you don't understand. i could have had class. i could have been a competitor. i could have been somebody. instead of a bum. it's what i am. let's face it. chris: great stuff. and summons the courage to testify. and the unlikely hero prevails against the odds. so of these greats are any indication of what makes the best picture winner, well, then maybe silver lining's playbook will triumph this year. when we come back in the age of barack obama, do african-americans still need washington to protect their rights to vote? supreme court may be getting ready to say no. supreme court may be getting ready to say no. plus
this is going to be exciting. this wednesday the supreme court will hear a challenge to take us back to the civil rights struggles of the 1960's. ever since 1965, when lyndon johnson pushed congress to pass the voting rights act, these states, most in the south, have been forced to get ok -- an ok from the justice department before changing any voter laws. when the 2012 election, six of those states passed restrictions on voting like requiring picture i.d. cards. under the voting rights act federal courts struck down the photo i.d. laws in texas and south carolina. those southern states will tell the supreme court the special voting protection is no longer needed in the age of obama. obama himself disagrees. listen to how they put it in his race speech in 2008. >> the legacy of discrimination and current incidents of discrimination while less overt than in the past, that these things are real. and must be addressed. by enforcing our sism rights laws and ensuring -- civil rights laws and ensuring
fairness in our criminal justice system. chris: as it happens we have two journalists who are also lawyers. and they have agreed to preview the supreme court arguments coming up wednesday. howard, you're the challenger. you present the southern states' argument. >> may it please the court -- chris: yes. proceed. >> the argument is that the original civil rights act was based on the idea of all this overt discrimination, especially in the south, that was measured by the fact that blacks voted much less frequently and were not registered the way white people were. blacks in the south are now registered roughly the same rate as whites and some southern states even at a higher rate and that if you want a new civil rights law, the southern states are arguing, it's unfair just to make them be the ones who have to get advanced permission when a lot of the current problems with discrimination are in states like pennsylvania, new york, and elsewhere. so the argument is that it's just not fair anymore to the south. chris: is the voting rights act still constitutional? >> because of the history of mischief and not justifies confined to the stereotypical
sort of civil rights era oppression of black voters. there's stuff that goes on on the sioux reservation and stuff that goes on with language minorities in the southwest where there's a lower voter registration level by like 30 points. chris: section five, is it still appropriate for those states? >> that's the preclearance issue and the government's argument is that yes, because between 1982 and 2006, there was something like 750 challenges that were turned back and affected thousands and thousands of instances. i'll give you one of them. in 2001, kilmichael, mississippi, 800 people. and it was 52 bers black and a bunch -- 52% black and a bun of blacks running and the all white council canceled the election. if they didn't have the voting rights act they went to washington and said you go to overturn this and can't let this happen. thousands of these -- chris: heerks the question. -- here's the question. we've seen covering the election that states that are not voting rights states like pennsylvania, creating laws before an election, the
republican party in harrisburg said we're doing this to win. >> the question of geography is an interesting one. question has changed. and ability to make some of these changes as society changes has also been an impact. i think you can't just look to the south and make their legacy the only argument. >> i think the argument of the south is -- fine, if you want to have preclearance, make everybody do it. or don't do it just to us. because the original foundation for why you did it no longer applies. and when you're dealing with states, states' rights is a misunderstood and misused term. but it does have some residual value. states, unless otherwise for some other reason, they should be treated equally. chris: here's the question. if you have a state, it's not covered by the old law, any state, we've seen this. in florida, where they got rid of sunday voting right before the election where black voters had tended to vote on sunday. and let's get rid of sunday. bill clinton said that was a shameful act of voter discrimination. >> and barack obama in the state of the union, bring out
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from government funding of basic research to both business and philanthropy. universities will give up on the government. chris: a lot of things we won't know. >> we'll know less than we know. about basic science. it's important. >> chris: katty. >> when the congressional budget office released its report earlier this month, it did suggest that health carry costs are actually growing at a slower rate than they have been. they didn't say why that is the case. but if that is the long-term projection, if we have found a way to bring down health care costs, then this whole debate about spending cuts and raising revenue will shift over the next few years. chris: that's good news. >> we were talking about boehner and the tea party. in talking with him recently, i asked him about his own future. and he said he has no intention of being done in two years or four years. he plans to be around for a long time. and when you see people who say cantor is trying to sort of ascend -- chris: no one would ever challenge him directly? mano e mano? >> not in this moment.
he had votes against him when he was up for speaker and a real chink in his armor. but he says that he's here to stay. chris: wow. >> fascinating stuff going on as they try to select a new pope. one of the considerations that is being reported that they're going to be looking at these cardinals is that they think that ratzginger, pope benedict, that he was too much himself. and not enough just the pope. somebody like him who was a scholar and had written a dozen books, they said this is not what we want in a pope. we need somebody who will give up their identity completely. a less accomplished person. chris: when we come back, the big question for us, when the cardinals do name the next pope, only those under 80 years of age may vote. pope, only those under 80 years of age may vote. in today's
good. no, not good. he's a vegetarian and he's going to be here in 20 minutes! [ mom ] don't stress. we can figure this out. ♪ [ male announcer ] get the speed to make a great first impression. call today to get u-verse high speed internet for as little as $14.95 a month for 12 months with a one-year price guarantee. this is delicious. ♪ [ male announcer ] save the day in an instant. at&t. ♪ chris: welcome back. when the pope leaves this week, the cardinals will get ready to choose his successor but only card naturals under age 80 can actually vote in the college of cardinals which brings us to
this week's big question. in today's world, of working longer in life, should we have an age cutoff in all sorts of areas, howard? the supreme court. >> i think it's something we should consider. but i think the technology of aging is changing. and i think it has to still be on a case by case basis. somebody like rupert murdoch running one of the largest news organizations in the world is in his 80's and going strong by all accounts. chris: is that good? just kidding. katty. >> you can certainly point to individuals in all spheres of life who are making valuable contributions to the world. over the age of 80. i hope at 80 i'm putting my feet up and enjoying my grandchildren when i get to them. chris: ok. >> i think we're going in the direction where people are more vibrant, more capable at an older age. and so to set an arbitrary level 08 -- 80 seems too young. 80 is the new 6 o >> you have to have the structures in place to get the knowledge from these people. i love the service corps of
retiered executives who volunteer their team and help startups get started. we have the new york one wise guys and talk to former elected officials. you have to get what you can get out of these guys. we had ed koch on two weeks before he died. chris: who are you rooting for sunday night? >> i'm rooting for the female rocky from philly, jennifer lawrence. in the role of -- chris: best actor of her generation today. >> i'm going for silver liningas playbook. chris: we're together. >> i'm a huge "argo" movie. >> "flight." it doesn't get enough attention. it's an under noticed social problem. not very sexy but it's still here. chris: i want that noticed. thanks to a great rourned table. howard fineman, errol louis, katty
nbc bay area news begins with breaking news. >> good evening. >> we have breaking news in union city. there is a crime scene at the union landing shopping center. it started with a carjacking which turned into a pursuit and ended with several cars smashed and one person rushed to the hospital. >> reporter: it was quite a mess out here. they just cleared the scene a few minutes ago. police looking for at least one suspect in this crazy carjacking
incident. here is the stolen silver mercedes benzthat was jacked a little before 1:00 this afternoon. free mont police spotted the car. the chase ended here. it is a shopping center right off of 880. the stolen mercedes hit this tree and support stick causing both to fly about 70 feet. the benzsmashed into a white nissan. there was a woman inside. she had to be air lifted out of here. the mercedes kept going and smashed into four other parked cars. we talked to one couple who was watching a movie and saw all of the commotion. they were stunned their green honda civic had been bashed in. >> oh, boy. this is out of my control. called my insurance right away and gave them the report. i took a lot of pictures of